Color'd Fancy Ball, De

Title: 
Color'd Fancy Ball, De
Type: 
Song
Description: 

[Alternately: “Coloured Fancy Ball,” “De Coloured Fancy Ball,” “Our Colored Fancy Ball”]



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The music is from the song “Through the Halls Resounding,” a part of Fry’s opera Leonora (1845). The work is considered to be the first “grand opera” written by an American. There are multiple published versions of this song during the period, going as far back as 1848. Of the versions surveyed, there is some variation in the lyrical settings, particularly in the B and repeating A sections. Generally, the melody and song structure is consistent. For a full consideration of the form and structure of the song, as well as its possible subjects of critique, see Mahar pp.126-35.



If the number of published editions of the song during the period can be taken as evidence, it would have been more popular in the United Kingdom than in the United States. At the time of the writing of this article, the only known edition published in America during the period is the above mentioned William Hall version of 1848. In the UK, however, the song was published at least three times, once as part of “The Ethiopian Waltzes,” a medley of minstrel songs. Neither its, nor its predecessor’s popularity endured into the twentieth century. There are no recorded versions of the song.



Works Cited:

  • Mahar, William J. Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture. Chicago: Illinois UP, 1999.


    Mark Turner


  • Media: 
    Sheet Music Cover
    Sheet Music Cover #2
    Sheet Music Cover #3
    Lyrics
    Audio File - Minstrels in the Parlour

    Performance(s) listed of this act

    Performer(s) Troupe Event and Venue
    Minstrel Show, 02 Mar. 1846 - 07 Mar. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 30 Mar. 1846 - 04 Apr. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 11 May. 1846 - 11 May. 1846
    Crosby Hall, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 11 May. 1846 - 16 May. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 25 May. 1846 - 30 May. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 25 May. 1846 - 25 May. 1846
    Sussex Hall, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 12 Jun. 1846 - 12 Jun. 1846
    Green Man, Blackheath, London (city-county)
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 29 Jun. 1846 - 04 Jul. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 06 Jul. 1846 - 11 Jul. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 13 Jul. 1846 - 18 Jul. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 20 Jul. 1846 - 25 Jul. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Minstrel Show, 27 Jul. 1846 - 01 Aug. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Dramatic, 08 Sep. 1846 - 09 Sep. 1846
    Theatre Royal, Bristol, Bristol (city-county) in Gloucestershire
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 21 Dec. 1846 - 26 Dec. 1846
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 28 Dec. 1846 - 02 Jan. 1847
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1846-48) Minstrel Show, 04 Jan. 1847 - 09 Jan. 1847
    St. James Theatre, London (city-county)

    Daniels
    Fortescue
    May
    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 06 Mar. 1847 - 08 Mar. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 30 Mar. 1847 - 01 Apr. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire

    Daniels
    Fortescue
    May
    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 15 May. 1847 - 15 May. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire

    Daniels
    Fortescue
    May
    Sherwood
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1846-47) Minstrel Show, 17 May. 1847 - 22 May. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire
    Ethiopian Delineators (not Pelham's, 1847) Minstrel Show, 10 Jul. 1847 - 10 Jul. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire
    Ethiopian Melodists and New York Serenaders Minstrel Show, 21 Sep. 1847 - 24 Sep. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1847-?) Minstrel Show, 01 Nov. 1847 - 05 Nov. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire

    Collins, John H.
    Fortescue
    Goulding
    Ethiopian Harmonists (1847-?) Minstrel Show, 15 Nov. 1847 - 19 Nov. 1847
    Concert Hall, Lancashire
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49) Minstrel Show, 31 Oct. 1848 - 03 Nov. 1848
    Music Hall, Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49) Minstrel Show, 18 Dec. 1848 - 20 Dec. 1848
    Theatre Royal, Birmingham, Warwickshire
    Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49) Minstrel Show, 23 Dec. 1848 - 23 Dec. 1848
    Theatre Royal, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire

    Mackney, E.W.
    Mackney, E.W. Dramatic, 12 Feb. 1851 - 12 Feb. 1851
    Theatre Royal, Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding